Intelligence Support against Poaching ISAP NEWS 1
The facebook forum “Intelligence Support against Poaching” has been initiated by Mr. Fritz Kaufmann, following the recent discovery of increased illegal hunting activities in the north western Conservancies of Namibia. The killing of specially protected wildlife such as several black rhino Diceros bicornis has been thoroughly discussed in local, international and social media circles. Illegal killing of elephants also in the north eastern National Parks and surroundings seem to be on the increase. Further more precious free ranging lion, being critically endangered throughout Africa, have recently been killed by shooting (trophy hunters and local farmers) and by the use of poison (type not known). The use of poison has apparently spread into commercial farming areas, where poaching has always been an established means to supply “bush meat” to informal settlements, as well as to formal meat processing factories. In general, snaring is the method employed. This, on commercial farms however is an indiscriminate and brutal way of killing, also resulting in the substantial loss of sometimes highly prized livestock.
The control of poaching lies with the Ministries of Environment and Tourism (most wildlife), Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (both marine and inland systems) as well as with Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (plants). Crime resorts under Ministry of Safety and Security. Mostly, incidents of poaching are reported to the local police station, and to the local MET offices. Strictly speaking, all incidents of poaching should only be reported to the local MET. As has been reported in the media, it is quite a regular phenomenon, that either the MET or the police, or both do not have the vehicles available to investigate any wildlife crimes.
It is an unfortunate situation that crimes against the environment and biodiversity are all too often not investigated properly, and brought to a significant conclusion. Also no statistics are made available as to the distribution of poaching incidents geographically or over time. The ISAP would like to contribute in facilitating the collection of data and the distribution of such data on a regular basis to law enforcement agencies. This is purely a supportive initiative.
ISAP has initiated the development of a smartphone APP which will help in collecting and processing data and distributing of poaching related information to the relevant authorities.
In order to achieve this, ISAP is in the process of registering a Section 21 Company which will be responsible for administering funds received and which will be used for the process of collecting processing and distributing information received. Registration of this company is expected to be finalized during the early months of 2015.
2. Supporting Instances
The APP can be used by the following instances should they wish to support this initiative:
* The general public
* Tour operators
* Concession holders
* Regional Farmers unions
* Namibia Agricultural Union
During 2015 several public awareness meetings will be organized, targeting some of the listed institutions in particular.